AIM to Honor iRobot, Crane, Larson at Centennial Gala

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Sep 24, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Robotics leader iRobot Corporation, U.S. currency maker Crane and Company and Bentley University President Gloria Cordes Larson will be honored for contributions to the Massachusetts economy at the centennial celebration of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) on November 16.

More than 1,500 business and civic leaders are expected to attend the event at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. AIM is the largest employer association in Massachusetts, representing the interests of more than 4,500 companies from every sector of the Bay State economy.

“iRobot, Crane and Gloria Larson exemplify in diverse ways the transformative and lasting power of economic opportunity. Their vision and leadership have allowed thousands of Massachusetts residents to work, support families and build lives for themselves while making this commonwealth a wonderful place to live,” said AIM President and Chief Executive Officer Richard C. Lord.

“Associated Industries of Massachusetts is pleased to inaugurate its next century by recognizing such distinguished people and companies.”

iRobotiRobot has defined a growing robotics industry in Massachusetts that is helping people to do more while defining the future of the state economy.

Founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists, iRobot has grown into a $557 million enterprise. The company's home robots help people find smarter ways to clean, its defense and security robots protect those in harm's way, and its remote-presence robots enable virtual presence from anywhere in the world. iRobot's consumer and military robots feature proprietary technologies incorporating advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence.

iRobot is also committed to building a future for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the United States. The company’s multi-faceted outreach program is a resource for students, parents and educators to share in the excitement of the robotics industry and get an inside look at what iRobot does.

CraneCrane and Company is 200 years older than iRobot, but shares the same passion for success and commitment to its employees. Crane paper products have been closely woven into the fabric of American history, from 19th century stock certificates to correspondence between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Crane is perhaps best known for its role as the exclusive supplier of US currency paper since 1879. Since first embedding silk threads in banknote paper in 1844, Crane has been a leader in developing paper-based counterfeit deterrents, such as advanced security threads, watermarks, security fibers, special additives, and fluorescent and phosphorescent elements.

The company has also set an example in minimizing its environmental footprint. Long before it became fashionable or required by law, Crane undertook aggressive and expensive environmental initiatives that have been recognized by environmental organizations and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

LarsonFew individuals have left a more significant mark on the Massachusetts economy than Gloria Cordes Larson, who has spent a career serving the public interest as a cabinet secretary, lawyer, senior Federal Trade Commission official, and now, president of Bentley University.

An advisor to governors of both parties, Larson led the commonwealth through a period of breathtaking economic growth as Secretary of Economic Affairs from 1993-1996 before returning to the private sector and undertaking community and economic development roles that included chairing the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority during construction of the $800 million Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Larson has led the transformation of Bentley from a college to a university and established new programs focused on the value of a business education.  At the undergraduate level the school expanded its commitment to a “fused” curriculum with additional courses co-taught by business and arts and sciences faculty.  One of its most recent innovations, the Bentley MBA, is an 11-month global program where students pursue four 10-week modules in a collaborative, studio-based setting.

A group of 27 visionary Massachusetts industrialists formed Associated Industries of Massachusetts in 1915 to work with government to advance economic opportunity for the people of the commonwealth. The association now represents organizations from every sector of the economy in what has become a unique and enduring example of employer engagement in public policy.

AIM and its member employers are observing the organization’s centennial by developing the Blueprint for the Next Century, a plan to ensure the long-term economic future of Massachusetts. The Blueprint maintains that economic opportunity will depend Massachusetts’ ability to create the best system in the world for educating and training workers; to ensure a competitive cost structure across all industries; to reform the regulatory system; and to moderate the burdens of high costs for health care and energy.

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Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM Centennial

AIM Honors Six with Next Century Awards

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Aug 5, 2015 9:00:00 AM

The world’s foremost oceanographic research institution, a Worcester business owner who left behind a unique educational legacy and an iconic fashion company that has made manufacturing part of its label are among the recipients of Next Century awards to be presented at two Associated Industries of Massachusetts regional centennial celebrations in September.

Woods_HoleThe Next Century awards recognize individuals, companies and other organizations for unique contributions to the Massachusetts economy and the well-being of its citizens. Presentations will take place during late afternoon receptions on September 16 at the renovated Hanover Theater in Worcester and on September 21 at the Putnam Club at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

“The six recipients exemplify the transformative and lasting power of economic opportunity. Their vision and leadership have allowed Massachusetts residents to work, support families and build lives for themselves while making the commonwealth a wonderful place to live,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.

The Worcester event will posthumously honor Edwin B. “Ted” Coghlin of Worcester and the Worcester Technical High School he worked to build; Worcester Polytechnic Institute for the development of Gateway Park; and fiber-laser pioneer IPG Photonics of Oxford. The Foxboro event will honor Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Company and Waters Corporation.

Here are summaries of each recipient:


President Barack Obama called Edwin B. Coghlin the “godfather” of Worcester Technical High School during an address to the school’s graduating class of 2014. “Because about 10 years ago he set out to make this school what he knew it could be - a place where businesses train new workers, and young people get the keys to a brighter future,” the president said.

Coghlin, the President of Coghlin Electrical Contractors who passed away in December at age 79, helped to turn Worcester Tech into a national model for vocational education and was a key player in fundraising for the construction of the $100 million school facility on Skyline Drive. He established the Skyline Technical Fund to raise millions of dollars for state-of-the-art training and equipment for the school.   In recognition for his efforts over 40 years, the school dedicated the Coghlin Construction Technology Academy.

The US Department of Education named Worcester Tech a Blue Ribbon School in 2013.

AIM will present the award to Coghlin’s daughter, Susan Mailman, and Kyle Brenner, principal of Worcester Technical High School.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has long played an important role in the Massachusetts economy by preparing students for a world increasingly driven by technology.   In 2006, the school broadened its influence by turning a swath of old and underutilized factory buildings off Interstate 290 into a center of research, innovation and commerce.

The flagship complex at Gateway Park is WPI’s 125,000 square-foot Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, which opened in 2007 and is fully occupied with graduate research laboratories, life science companies, state-of-the-art core facilities, and WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education division. WPI has committed a total $110.5 million to Gateway Park, which includes $65 million for the Life Sciences facility at the flagship building, $40 million for a Faraday Street residence hall under construction, and $5.5 million to construct the Fire Protection Engineering labs and WPI business school. Federal investments in infrastructure improvements, research funding, and brownfields cleanup total nearly $23 million.

Gateway Park has been recognized as a national model of environmental stewardship and urban redevelopment. In 2007, the park won the prestigious Phoenix Award for its successful redevelopment of an old industrial site.  Also in 2007, the U.S. Department of Commerce gave Gateway Park the Excellence in Economic Development Award for Urban or Suburban Economic Development.

IPG Photonics pioneered the development and commercialization of optical fiber-based lasers that combine the advantages of semiconductor diodes with the high amplification and precise beam qualities of specialty optical fibers. IPG’s low, mid and high-power lasers and amplifiers are used in materials processing, communications, medical and advanced applications.

Founded in 1990 by Valentin P. Gapontsev, IPG now enjoys the second highest market capitalization of any company in central Massachusetts.  Sales rose 19 percent during 2014 to $770 million.

The company employs 1,100 highly skilled people at its main facility in Oxford and more than 3,000 people worldwide at manufacturing operations in Germany, Italy and Russia, and regional sales offices in Detroit, Silicon Valley, China, France, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore and the U.K.

The company is also spending $13.5 million to transform a complex in Marlborough into an advanced manufacturing and research-and-development center that will eventually create 100 new full-time jobs.

IPG plays a prominent role in helping area schools to prepare students with math and technical skills needed by employers in the innovation economy.  The company has developed curriculum for secondary schools via Project Photon, sponsored by the New England Board of Higher Education. IPG also sponsors internships with Springfield Technical Community College and Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, Connecticut, and partners with Worcester Polytechnic Institute on engineering opportunities.


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is the world’s largest, private non-profit oceanographic research institution and a global leader in the study and exploration of the ocean. An unmatched reputation for intellectual discovery under the water has allowed the organization to contribute to its economic surroundings out of the water as well.

Woods Hole scientists and engineers have played a part in discoveries that form the modern understanding of the ocean and how it interacts with other parts of the planet, including human society. WHOI professionals combine access to specialized tools, ships, labs, and underwater vehicles with knowledge of how to explore the ocean to create a detailed understanding of the global ocean system.

The institution, founded in 1930, employs more than 1,000 researchers, engineers, information technology specialists, and crews for ships and underwater vehicles like the Alvin that famously explored the wreck of the Titanic in 1986. A combination of government grants and contracts, foundation and private donations and industry contracts provide the organization with an annual operating budget of $215 million.

Increasingly WHOI is involved in projects that apply the knowledge gained from basic research to societal issues, providing high-quality data and analysis across a range of topics, from climate to biodiversity to resources to natural hazards mitigation. These efforts have given WHOI’s work reach into new and important arenas.

In 2010, the Institution rapidly mobilized researchers from several different disciplines to assist the Coast Guard and other responders during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In response to the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, WHOI mounted another rapid response and mobilization to gather data and water samples quickly to determine the amount of radioactivity released into the ocean. That monitoring effort continues.

Engineers and scientists at WHOI worked for nearly two years to successfully locate, in May 2011, the deep water wreckage of Air France flight 447, using the WHOI-designed and -built REMUS 6000 autonomous vehicle.

WHOI and 100,000 other high-level research labs like it around the world form the customer base for Waters Corporation, which for 50 years has developed innovative analytical instruments that help scientists uncover new knowledge.

Founded in 1958 by James Waters in the basement of the Framingham police station, Waters Corporation is a Massachusetts innovation company.  Today, Waters designs, manufacturers, sells and services a focused line of analytical science technologies used by scientists the world over in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, food and beverage, fine chemical and clinical industries.  

With annual revenues approaching $2 billion, Waters employs 6,000 people worldwide, including 1,500 here in the commonwealth.  In addition to investing more than $100 million per year on research and development making its Milford headquarters one of the state's largest innovation centers, Waters proudly manufacturers its advanced technologies in Milford and Taunton, and houses a demonstration laboratory in Beverly.

Waters develops sustainable innovations and fosters enduring partnerships that enable scientific advancements through the success of its customers. Addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow is fundamental to Waters, The Science of What's Possible.

The company also hosts the AIM Sustainability Roundtable, a professional development group for sustainability executives from throughout the region.

The global fashion industry may revolve around Paris, Rome and Milan, but the 800 people who work in New Bedford making garments for the Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Company are testament to the commitment of the company and its eponymous founder to their Massachusetts roots.

It’s a rarity in an industry where most clothing production has long since moved overseas. Abboud Manufacturing, instead of joining the exodus, decided in 2004 that the company's appeal lay in its cachet as a custom designer of suits made in America. The company invested heavily in lean manufacturing and state-of-the-art equipment that now makes it possible to deliver individual made-to-measure suits in 10 working days.

Among the 1,300 suits manufactured each day in Abboud Manufacturing’s 400,000-square-foot facility, the company’s attire has graced the frames of celebrities from former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and jazz giant Wynton Marsalis. The company is the third largest private employer in New Bedford with an annual payroll of more than $25 million.

Founder Joseph Abboud was born and raised in Boston, encountered the apparel industry as a 16-year-old working part-time at Louis Boston and graduated from UMass Boston before attending the Sorbonne in Paris. He established Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Company in 1990 in New Bedford because: “When it came time to build my business, I chose to head back to the place where I got my start. Though the fabrics I use in my suits are carefully chosen from the Biella region of Italy, each individual piece is made in New Bedford … To create suits with personal heritage and an authentically American style—that was my ultimate goal.”

After leaving the company in 2005, Joseph Abboud returned in 2013 when national retail chain The Men’s Wearhouse bought the business for $97.5 million. Abboud serves as Chief Creative Director for The Men’s Wearhouse.

Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM Centennial

AIM Honors Nine with Centennial Awards

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Jun 4, 2015 2:50:00 PM

A manufacturing company reborn in the middle of the Great Recession, a groundbreaking research partnership between Raytheon and UMass Lowell, and candle entrepreneur Michael Kittredge are among nine recipients of Next Century awards to be presented at three Associated Industries of Massachusetts regional centennial celebrations this month.

saab-innovation-center-5328The Next Century awards recognize individuals, companies and other organizations for seminal contributions to the Massachusetts economy and the well-being of its citizens. Presentations will take place during late afternoon receptions on June 11 at the Crane Model Farm in Dalton; June 15 at the Wood Museum of Springfield History in Springfield; and June 17 at the Marc and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center at UMass Lowell.

“All nine recipients exemplify the transformative and lasting power of economic opportunity. Their vision and leadership have allowed Massachusetts residents to work, support families and build lives for themselves while making the commonwealth a wonderful place to live,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.

The Dalton event will honor Onyx Speciality Papers Inc., Berkshire Health Systems and SABIC Innovative Plastics. Employers in Springfield will honor Kittredge, MassMutual Financial Group and the job-training programs of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. The Lowell event will recognize the Raytheon-UMass Lowell Research Institute, Mayor Daniel Rivera of Lawrence and developer and philanthropist Salvatore Lupoli.

Here are summaries of each recipient:


Onyx Specialty Papers gave new life to a 200-year-old business in 2009 when it acquired the assets of MeadWestvaco’s specialty paper division in South Lee. It was an extraordinary act of courage in the face of the Great Recession and the ongoing cost and regulatory challenges of manufacturing products in Massachusetts. It is an act that has preserved the livelihoods of 152 manufacturing workers, scientists and engineers who now supply materials for countertops, laminate floors, furniture, filters, graphic arts and even automotive transmissions. 

Berkshire Health Systems is among a vanguard of community hospitals developing new models of patient care and financial sustainability in a turbulent health-care market. The most dramatic example of the company’s innovative approach came when it stepped in and invested more than $6 million to provide medical services to people in northern Berkshire County in the wake of the closing of North Adams Hospital. BHS has also invested in the recruitment of new physicians to meet the demand from patients who formerly sought treatment from doctors in private practice.

SABIC Innovative Plastics, a world leader in providing thermoplastic solutions, sets a unique standard for balancing success in the global marketplace with addressing the needs of its hometown. Founded with the acquisition of GE Plastics in 2007, SABIC employs 9,000 people in 35 countries making products for the automotive, electronics, transportation, building & construction, and healthcare industries. At the same time, SABIC employees volunteer their time in the Berkshires and elsewhere through programs that support community initiatives focused on education and environmental sustainability.


Holyoke native Michael Kittredge is the Founder of Yankee Candle Company in South Deerfield, which he sold in 1998, and Co-Founder of Kringle Candle Company of Bernardston. From a home-made candle created at age 16 as a Christmas present for his mother, Kittredge created businesses that have entertained customers and employed hundreds of people across a unique blend of retail, manufacturing, distribution, tourism and hospitality operations.

Perhaps no company has done more for Springfield and western Massachusetts over a longer period of time while forging more wide-reaching business success than MassMutual. From jump-starting the rebirth of downtown Springfield with the development of Baystate West in 1971 to the formation last year of a $100 million corporate venture capital firm, MassMutual has been involved in virtually every substantive economic-development initiative in western Massachusetts.

At a time when the primary challenge facing Massachusetts employers is finding qualified workers for their businesses, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department last year placed 506 formerly incarcerated people into jobs. Sheriff Michael Ashe and his staff have created a national model for employment support that includes vocational training, education, counseling, job-readiness skills, job search and job retention that has secured employment for more than 10,000 people since 1989.


The Raytheon–UMass Lowell Research Institute (RURI), established in 2014, provides a blueprint for mutually beneficial research collaboration between Massachusetts companies and the commonwealth’s colleges and universities. RURI is a joint research facility focused on the advancement of innovative technologies, including flexible and printed electronics. The institute will serve as a launchpad for collaboration and learning among UMass Lowell faculty and students and Raytheon employees. 

The RURI award will be accepted by founders and co-directors Dr. Christopher McCarroll of Raytheon and UMass Lowell Prof. Craig Armiento, Ph.D., a faculty member in electrical and computer engineering in the university’s Francis College of Engineering.

Daniel Rivera, elected as a reformer to lead Lawrence out of a period of political instability, is living up to the “Mayor and CEO” titles that appear on his business card. Rivera has made City Hall a partner in creating economic opportunity for the citizens of Lawrence with a clearly defined plan to cut crime, oust drug dealers, increase jobs, attract new businesses to the former textile city, and get thousands of Lawrence residents who do not speak English to enroll in classes.

Entrepreneur Salvatore Lupoli has been a key ally of Mayor Rivera in changing the face of Lawrence “one job at a time.” Lupoli is an American success story, having transformed a single pizza restaurant founded in 1990 into a retail franchise and wholesale operation with more than 40 businesses serving New England, California, Arizona and India. He has also played a key role in the revitalization of Lawrence by turning more than 3.6 million square feet of mill space into the thriving commercial, retail and manufacturing center, Riverwalk Properties. Lupoli employs more than 1,000 people and has become a major benefactor of community organizations ranging from veterans’ groups to anti-hunger initiatives.

AIM will honor six more individuals and companies at two additional regional celebrations in September – September 16 at the Hanover Theater in Worcester and September 21 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. All the regional celebrations run from 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Lowell begins at 4 p.m.) and are free, though pre-registration is required.


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Topics: Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM Centennial

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